| Event type

15 kilometres, Men

Date30 January 1956 — 9:00
LocationStadio della Neve, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Participants62 from 20 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 230 m
Intermediate 1: 5.0 km
Intermediate 2: 10.0 km
Maximum Climb: 135 m
Total Climbing: 415 m

The shortest distance on the Olympic cross country skiing program was now reduced from 18 km. to 15 km., and for the first time in Olympic history the Nordic Combined participants were not taking part in the event concurrently. The Finns, who had taken all the medals at the 1954 World Championships with Veikko Hakulinen winning, was favored among most of the experts. But the defending champion from 1952, Hallgeir Brenden of Norway, was eager to revenge his disappointing 14th place in the 30 km. His form prior to Cortina had been in flux – at times he looked superb but a toe injury in December had slowed him and he had not won any of the Norwegian selection races. The Soviet skiers were considered better on the longer distances.

On a foggy and snowy day, Brenden starting first among the favourites, and took the lead after 5 km., 13 seconds ahead of Vladimir Kuzin with Sixten Jernberg one second behind Kuzin. Hakulinen was seventh, 25 seconds behind. During the following 5 km., Brenden increased his lead. At 10 km. he was 21 seconds ahead of Pavel Kolchin, who had advanced from fourth place at 5 km. Jernberg, still in contention for a medal, was nine seconds behind Kolchin, but Kuzin was obviously in trouble, falling back to fourth place.

At the finish, Soviet skier Nikolay Anikin, who started 18th, had the best time until Martin Stokken was able to take the lead. Brenden was able to keep his speed and finished with a time over one minute better than Stokken. Kolchin was able to stay ahead of Hakulinen and was in silver medal position, but Jernberg with his late start number of 56, had a good finish and secured his second silver medal, three seconds better than Kolchin.

Hallgeir Brenden, a 26-year-old lumberjack from Trysil, had defended his title, the first cross-country skier to do this at the Olympics. He was an outspoken and extremely popular man, and the picture of him with Italian movie star Sophia Loren on his knee went all over the world and contributed to his rising international fame.

136Hallgeir BrendenNOR49:39Gold
256Sixten JernbergSWE50:14Silver
341Pavel KolchinURS50:17Bronze
448Veikko HakulinenFIN50:31
551Håkon BrusveenNOR50:36
625Martin StokkenNOR50:45
718Nikolay AnikinURS50:58
824Lennart LarssonSWE51:03
942Arvo ViitanenFIN51:10
1049Vladimir KuzinURS51:36
1132Ottavio CompagnoniITA51:42
1235Per-Erik LarssonSWE51:44
1359Ilja MatoušTCH52:04
1413Veikko RäsänenFIN52:35
152Gunnar SamuelssonSWE52:39
1655Tadeusz KwapieńPOL52:45
1753Federico DeflorianITA52:48
1810Minnevali GaliyevURS52:49
1954Clarence ServoldCAN53:34
=2026Jean MermetFRA53:40
=2045Werner ZwingliSUI53:40
2263Benoît CarraraFRA53:41
2334Andrzej MatejaPOL53:42
2416Pompeo FattorITA53:45
251Innocenzo ChatrianITA53:46
265Arto TiainenFIN54:11
2750Kuno WernerGER54:18
2862Sepp SchneebergerAUT54:21
2917Siegfried WeißGER54:29
3011Magnar IngebrigtsliNOR54:30
3138Rudi KoppGER54:31
3244Manole AldescuROU54:40
3333Victor KronigSUI54:43
3419Józef RubiśPOL54:47
357Karl RafreiderAUT54:51
=3620Josef ProkešTCH55:05
=3621Michel ReySUI55:05
3812Erwino HariSUI55:06
3931Hermann MayrAUT55:51
4030Constantin EnacheROU56:06
4158Mack MillerUSA56:08
4240Jaroslav CardalTCH56:12
4315Zdravko HlebanjaYUG56:32
448Józef Gąsienica SobczakPOL56:39
4529Janez PavčičYUG56:41
463Helmut HaggGER56:50
476Cveto PavčičYUG56:55
4847Tatsuo MiyaoJPN56:59
4960Matevž KordežYUG57:09
5022Paul RomandFRA57:11
5143Larry DamonUSA57:18
524Victor ArbezFRA57:38
5352Dimitri PetrovBUL57:53
5437Zaharin GrivevBUL58:11
5561Jón KristjánssonISL58:23
5614Maurice GoverGBR58:58
5728Andrew MorganGBR59:27
5857John MooreGBR59:31
5923Oskar SchulzAUT59:56
609Aubrey FielderGBR59:59
6139Oddur PéturssonISL1-02:36
DQ27Georges GereidiLBN1